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Three day weekends seem to have an air of importance and a sense of urgency. They are long enough to get out on a trip; yet still to short to cover much ground. With a three day weekend quickly approaching plans were laid for a relaxed trip to the Northern California Coast for a sampling of some bouldering on the beach and clipping bolts on beautiful sweeping limestone cliffs. Most climbing trips begin with days of thumbing through guide books, checking weather reports, and compiling a list of climbs you’d like to do.

The start to this excursion was a bit different that a typical climbing trip since we were heading to an area that is not exactly a climbing destination, but more of a if you happen to be in the area type climbing place. Before the trip we flipped through the major climbing rags that had recent articles and looked at the nice glossy photos and got our hands on a copy of the new film “Spray” to get us psyched up for the climbing to come.

Equipped with boulder pads, quickdraws, rope, and a quiver of shoes we made for a quasi-alpine start barreling out of Bend in Drew’s Scubaroo at 7:00 am sharp! Our trip had us starting in the High Desert and took us through snow covered mountain passes, through the jaw dropping Redwoods, and eventually to the boulder strewn California Coast.


Bluebird Back Country

By Mike Rougeux - February 10th, 2008

Where: Todd Lake, Central Oregon Cascades When: February 9, 2008 Summary: The Cascade Mountains of Oregon have recently been receiving an onslaught of cold winter storms blanketing the peaks in fresh deep dry powder. Back to back storms the past week or so have provided amazing snow in the mountains, the visibility however, has been less than ideal. With a day off drawing near, and a weather forecast of blue skies, plans were laid for a backcountry tour of Todd Lake in the Deschutes National Forest. The distinct noise of Kyle Beall’s Volkwagon van struggling as it made the turn onto my street alerted me to the fact that it was time to go.

We loaded gear and splitboards into the van and made the drive up to the Mt Bachelor Nordic Center where we would begin our trip out to Todd Lake. The first portion of the trip utilizes some of the groomed trails at the Nordic Center; touring through the Nordic Center on our splitboards drew many a strange look from lycra clad folks skating by on skinny x-country skis, and even a request for us to pose for a picture!
Where: Yosemite Valley

When: October 5-12th

Weather: 70’s – 80’s daytime, sunny

Summary: As every climber must do at some point in their career I made the pilgrimage, along with my brother Brian Rougeux, to Yosemite Valley to sample the clean granite cracks and long friction slabs. Yosemite was filled with climbers and tourists alike and many campgrounds were full; if planning a trip I suggest planning ahead and booking a campsite prior to your trip as some of them book solid months in advance! My brother and I spent the first two nights sleeping in our bivy sacks in the woods as we had to wait for a tent site to open up at Camp 4. Camp 4 is the cheapest place to camp in Yosemite and has played a vital role in the development of free climbing in America, it’s even on the National Register of Historic Places for "its significant association with the growth and development of rock climbing in the Yosemite Valley during the 'golden years' of pioneer mountaineering", according to the National Park Service.
Half Dome
I will go on the record saying that Camp 4 may be the loudest place on the National Register of Historic Places as parties have the potential to carry on into the next morning!

To begin our first trip to Yosemite, where the ratings are known to be stiff and the routes committing, Brain and I eased our way into the climbs and started on routes that we knew where well within our range. After a couple days of straight forward climbing and success we agreed that we should attempt one of our longer objectives.

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